Located between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea with palm-fringed beaches and balmy waters, Goa is India's prime beach destination with a popularity dating back to the colonial era and reaching its zenith in the 1970s as a hippie haven. With 101km of coastline there's no shortage of beaches whether it's the lively resorts of North Goa including Fort Aguada, Candolim, Calangute and Anjuna, famous for its Wednesday flea market, or the more laid-back beaches in the south that include Bogmalo, Colva and Benaulim.Read More
Goa's Portuguese colonial past is most keenly felt in the state capital of Panaji, also known as Panjim. The relaxed city is home to a number of open plazas lined with white-washed cathedrals and Portuguese architecture including Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, consecrated in 1541, and the Old Portuguese districts of Fountainhas and Sao Tome with distinctive candy coloured heritage homes. It's the perfect place for a leisurely stroll and makes for a lovely day trip.
A couple of churches also remain in the old former Portuguese capital, Old Goa including the large Se Cathedral, the Covent and Church of St Francis of Assisi built in 1661 with gilded and carved wood work and old murals, and the Basilica of Bom Jesus. As well as beaches and churches, Goa is the perfect place to indulge in some of India's most celebrated cultural exports, whether it's yoga at sunrise or a week's cooking course learning how to make a mean curry. There's also spice plantations, waterfalls and little-visited wildlife sanctuaries for those looking for a little adventure added to their beach holiday.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Goa
If you are planning a Goa holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Alila Diwa Goa
Alila Diwa Goa brings a refreshingly unique resort experience to Majorda Beach. The resort is located amidst lush paddy plantation leading to the Arabian Sea with architecture inspired by traditional Goan design. The rooms and suites are simply furnished with clean lines and earthy tones to complement the natural environs. Guests can dine on delicious cuisine from around the world in indoor and shaded open-air spaces and enjoy drinks at the hip Edge Bar and Lounge when the sun goes down. The property also has an indulgent spa and outdoor swimming pool.
Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort Goa
Designed to evoke the history and romance of 15th century Portugal, the Lemon Tree is a stunning property with medieval oil paintings, artefacts, tile work, heraldry and stained glass windows. Set amidst lush green gardens, the property offers a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, business centre, rejuvenating spa and outdoor swimming pool. The bright and airy rooms feature orthopaedic mattresses for a comfortable sleep as well as modern conveniences ranging from WiFi to satellite TV.
Sonesta Inns Goa
The Sonesta Inns is tastefully arranged around a vast central pool area with a gently shelving expanse of sand and garden running from the hotel grounds to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea. The well-appointed rooms feature a balcony with a view of the pool or gardens with white walls and wooden furniture for clean lines and bright space. The Sonesta Inns also offers a health club with gym, steam room and Jacuzzi.
Taj Exotica Goa
The Taj Exotica is a contemporary Mediterranean-style hotel with classic rooms and well-manicured gardens. Located on the southwest coast of Goa, the property offers easy access to Benaulim Beach with many of the rooms providing views of the sea while the private villas feature their own plunge pool. Guests can enjoy ancient Indian wisdom and contemporary therapies at the Jiva Spa or simply relax in the hotel pool. There's plenty of on-site dining options from casual all-day eateries to formal, fine dining with dishes from India, the Orient and beyond.
Goa Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Goa.